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Algeria seal World Cup spot

20 November 2013, 06:37

Blida - Algeria have sealed the fifth and final African zone World Cup qualifying berth on Tuesday, edging their play-off with Burkina Faso on away goals.

Last month, Algeria lost the first leg play-off 3-2 in Ougadougou and therefore needed just a goal to qualify for their fourth World Cup finals having featured at the 1982, 1986 and 2010 competitions.

With Algeria's qualification, it is the same line-up of teams who represented Africa at 2010 in South Africa - Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Ghana.

Algeria got the goal they needed in the 49th minute through skipper Madjid Bougherra off a goal mouth scramble caused by a free-kick.

The Stallions of Burkina Faso, beaten finalists at this year's Africa Cup of Nations, were thus denied the chance to reach a first-ever World Cup.

Around 40 Algerian football fans were injured before kick-off at the game which had attracted a packed house of 40,000 at the stadium 50 kilometres south of Algiers, the APS news agency said, citing police reports.

The stadium was packed to capacity as early as six hours before the match was due to kickoff despite the cold and rainy conditions.

It was an even exchange between the two teams at the start of this match staged inside a packed Mustapha Tchaker Stadium in Blida.

The home team were first to settle down and they continued to attack Burkina Faso, whose solid and packed defence kept them out.

The Algeria goalkeeper Mohamed Zemmamouche kept out a desperate defensive clearance that was headed for goal in the 11th minute.

The first big chance fell to Algeria in the 21st minute, when Islam Slimane was allowed a free header off a cross from the left right inside the box, but he failed to direct it on target.

Algeria captain Bougherra was booked in the 44th minute for a double-footed tackle on his Burkina Faso counterpart Charles Kabore as the hosts began to display their frustration.

In first half stoppage time, Burkina Faso goalkeeper Daouda Diakite smothered a low shot by El Arabi Soudani.

In the 57th minute, Slimane let fly from inside the box but his powerful snap shot missed its mark even with the Burkina goalkeeper beaten.

Chances were few and far between in this physical contest, which was marred by countless stoppages.

With the ticket to Brazil 2014 slipping away from them, Burkina Faso's Belgian coach Paul Put threw in forwards Aristide Bance and Alain Traore in the closing minutes.

In stoppage time, Burkina Faso saw a last-ditch effort crash against the post, but it was not enough for this west African nation.



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